Periodontal Maintenance

Towson, MD Dentist

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums and/or bone around the teeth, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Bacteria found in the biofilm produce toxins or poisons that irritate the gums. These harmful toxins will cause the normally pink tight gums to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorates. If left untreated, this leads to bad breath, pain, and eventual tooth loss.

There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will assist in preventing or delaying most periodontal conditions.

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Adults 35 and older lose more teeth to gum disease (periodontal disease) than from decay. It is estimated that three out of four adults are affected by periodontal disease at some time in their life.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque and can be accelerated by a number of factors. Plaque is a colorless film that sticks to your teeth at the gum line and constantly forms on your teeth. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). When tartar is allowed to stay on the teeth, inflammation can occur, causing the gums to recede from the teeth.

Systemic Link

Your overall health can seriously be affected by your oral health. Drs. Ousborne and Keller understand that bleeding gums provide a pathway for bacteria from your mouth to get into your bloodstream. This is considered to be a risk factor in some systemic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Keeping your gums healthy will help you live a longer healthier life. Remember, healthy gums don’t bleed! If blood comes out, bacteria can get in.

Preventing Gum Disease

The best way to prevent gum disease is effective home care that includes daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular professional cleanings and examinations at Ousborne and Keller. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent slow its progress.

Important factors affecting the health of your gums

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Medication
  • Poor nutrition
  • Genetics

If you have any questions regarding your teeth or gums or would like to schedule an appointment for cleaning and evaluation, please contact Ousborne and Keller at (410) 828-1177 or .